A galley kitchen layout is planned out in rows of cabinetry and appliances placed on opposite walls of a narrow space. A galley kitchen layout makes it easy to grab what you need while you prepare a delicious meal since everything is within arm’s reach. However, some homeowners find this kitchen style confining and challenging to navigate due to limited square footage.

In the list below, you can find the most creative galley kitchen ideas that are both practical and stylish at the same time. You don’t need to sacrifice style if you have a galley kitchen. Read on to discover some inspirational design ideas that will get you excited about creating an original kitchen refresh of your own.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

Since galley kitchens have smaller footprints, this designer left the window at the end wall open, allowing the sunlight to pour in. The absence of curtains or blinds encourages natural light to flow into the room, giving the illusion of a larger space.

A large window like this one is typically enough to provide ample lighting during the day. Despite its narrow layout, this beautiful galley kitchen feels big, open, and airy thanks to the design. Note how the wall closest to the window doesn’t have cabinets, helping the space feel less cramped.

The open shelving is attached right above the kitchen backsplash and its location right next to the window makes it ideal for a green plant.

A grey galley kitchen whit a white marble countertop and backsplash

via Historiska Hem

Integrate Open Shelving

Open shelving adds storage while helping galley kitchens look roomier. However, there are still kitchen cabinets on one wall, offering plenty of hidden storage for cooking essentials in this sage green kitchen.

The use of a beautiful green color helps this kitchen feel light and bright. Regardless of its galley layout, the space looks functional and beautiful all in one. This design proves that even in small spaces, you can still enjoy lots of functionality.

Not that the cabinetry on the left side starts more narrow, to give this galley kitchen a more spacious look and feel. The open shelving is painted in the same color as the kitchen cabinets for a beautiful effect against the limewash walls.

A sage green farmhouse kitchen in a galley layout

Styled by Anna Van Keppel, photographed by Mia Borgelin, for sale via Historiska Hem

Maximize the Use of a Narrow Space

Despite this being a narrow galley kitchen, there’s still enough room to cook and eat. At the end of the room is an extension of the counter that creates a bar top along with stools for a nice breakfast nook which gives this galley kitchen two functions in one.

A plethora of countertops provide lots of surface area so the homeowner can prep, cook, and eat without running out of room. Even though this is a small galley kitchen, there’s ample space to do everything you need here without feeling cramped.

The upper cabinets don’t continue up to the ceiling, making the space feel larger and allowing the white ceilings to bounce light back into the small space.

A grey shaker kitchen with a breakfast bar in a galley layout, from deVOL kitchens

via deVOL Kitchens

Use Neutral Tones for Versatility

When brainstorming galley kitchen ideas, using the right colors will make a big impact. This interior designer opted for butcher block countertops and a soft color palette to make the kitchen feel larger. White walls, floors, and upper cabinets help to give it an airy feel.

Thanks to the open floor plan in this home, the galley kitchen opens to another room with a dining table and chairs, adding to the functionality. A beautiful rose pink color on the wall helps to separate the two spaces, even though they’re technically connected.

The wood tone of the butcher block countertops comes back in the small glass cabinet on the wall, which is a nice and elegant touch. Even though the kitchen doesn’t get any direct natural light, by selecting a light floor and white cabinetry, the galley kitchen still looks light and bright.

A white galley kitchen comes out in a dining area with a terracotta wall

via Stadshem

Use Built-Ins for Extra Storage

This small galley kitchen has a distinctively modern style thanks to the use of bold colors and contemporary finishes. The navy blue pantry and cabinets and the white built-ins on the opposite wall offer loads of extra storage for everything from plates and cookware to spices.

The design here proves that you don’t need to have an all-white kitchen to enjoy a functional space. An open floor plan offers enough room for a separate eating area. It also helps to make a tight space feel much more open.

A navy galley kitchen with a white pantry

Styled by Emma Fisher, photographed by Anders Bergstedt for Alvhem

Add a Feature Wall

Bold patterned kitchen wallpaper on a feature wall draws the eye toward this modern galley kitchen. A white backsplash with subway tile adds to the high-end aesthetic. Many galley kitchens have a plain, basic design, but not here.

Dark base cabinets ground the room, while modern hardware and solid surface marble countertops give it a luxe vibe. Integrating lots of greenery on an assortment of open shelves makes this galley kitchen feel cozy yet contemporary for an eye-catching finishing touch.

An wallpaper accent wall in a neutral color kitchen with a galley layout

via Alvhem

Keep it Light

White can make a small space feel larger and this galley kitchen design uses white combined with a very muted sage green to do just that. Under cabinet lighting adds functionality and a warm glow for cooking and entertaining.

A transom window that likely opens to a living area brings a visually elongating effect to this chic galley kitchen. Even with small layouts, this design shows you can still enjoy a versatile space while maintaining a sense of style.

The side of the galley kitchen cabinetry has a light wood built-in shelf that offers a small storage module next to the dining area.

A sage green galley kitchen with a transom window

via Entrance Makleri

Make it Minimalist

Simple kitchen designs are often the most effective. This ultra-modern galley kitchen features flat panel cabinets to reduce the appearance of visual clutter. An extra lower cabinet on the end doubles as a comfy seat, adding even more versatility to this modern space.

Since the colors are similar for the cabinets and counters, it creates a cohesive look. Rather than opting for classic white cabinets, the designer chose a subtle, earthy color instead.

A minimal galley kitchen with a seating nook

Styled and photographed by Therese Jahnson for Historiska Hem

Combine a Variety of Materials to Add Texture

Even if you have a galley kitchen, it doesn’t have to be boring. In this design, a blend of different materials creates a visual feast and a nice juxtaposition between natural and modern elements. Wood countertops on one side play beautifully with the higher-end marble countertops on the other.

The tile backsplash on one side distinguishes the two walls, and the other is simply painted white. High ceilings also give the illusion of a much larger space. There’s also plenty of counter space for small appliances and other kitchen must-haves.

A light flooded grey galley kitchen with a white subway tile backsplash

Photographed by Jonas Berg for Entrance Makleri

Add Personal Touches to Make a Galley Kitchen Unique

This chic galley kitchen boasts an ultra-modern vibe with a unique gallery wall for a pop of personality. Utilizing the plain wall at one end for artwork allows the homeowner to showcase their personal collection, giving it a one-of-a-kind look.

Stainless steel appliances and shades of gray also help to make this galley kitchen appear more modern. Industrial-inspired statement lighting above the sink adds functionality and a fresh, contemporary touch.

A grey galley kitchen with white marble countertops and a gallery wall

via Entrance Makleri

Take Advantage of Windows

Even with minimal floor space, you can still maximize your galley kitchen’s functionality. For example, the large window in this kitchen makes a perfect area for a dining table and chairs which transforms the space into an eat-in galley kitchen.

The more things you can do in the kitchen, the more you can maximize any available space. White is the base color in this room, while the black dining chairs and light wood decor bring a fun and creative element. If you want to spice things up, you could easily replace the existing rug with a colorful runner for a playful pop.

A white galley kitchen with a black dining area

Styled by Grey Deco, photographed by Jonas Berg for Stadshem

Keep Things Simple

Although this galley kitchen is larger than most, the interior designer chose to keep things simple. A large arched window allows the light to bounce off reflective surfaces like the white floors.

Brass hardware for the sink brings this kitchen a fun, sleek component as well as the wall shelving on the opposite side. This design demonstrates that you can add other things to your kitchen including decorative accessories and wall art without being excessive.

A spacious galley kitchen with white floors and a rounded window

via Stadshem

Hide Items Out of View

A large pantry on one end of this galley kitchen and lots of lower cabinets give the homeowner tons of storage. Instead of placing small appliances on top of the counters, they’ve chosen to keep them hidden from view until they’re needed.

Cutting out clutter makes even the most narrow galley kitchen look roomy. The taller upper cabinets on the pantry help maximize vertical space to provide even more convenient storage for coffee mugs, dinner plates, and other important dining essentials.

A grey shaker kitchen in a galley layout

via Nordiska Kök

Be Smart with Your Layout

if your kitchen is long and narrow, one of the best galley kitchen ideas is to design a smart, efficient layout. Here, one end of the counters has been cut short, adding more space for a small table and chairs instead.

By “chopping up” the layout, it gives this galley kitchen extra room to enjoy eating breakfast and other meals. Large lower cabinets and deep drawers also help to maximize space for the storage of bulky items like pots and pans.

Off-white cabinets and concrete countertops in a galley kitchen layout

via Entrance Makleri

Install Task Lighting in a Narrow Galley kitchen

This kitchen has a challenging layout, so the designer opted to implement extra task lighting. By installing some lighting above the sink and a section of the countertops, the kitchen is much brighter, especially at night when no light is coming from the window.

The more lighting you have in a room, the larger it will feel. This is especially important in a small galley kitchen since you’ll need to be able to see what you’re doing while you cook.

A narrow galley kitchen with task lighting on the wall

via Alexander White

Make it Elegant

Galley kitchen ideas can be as elegant and dramatic as you like. In this kitchen, the homeowner chose a beautiful white farmhouse sink and marble countertops.

Black cabinets and a black hood fan bring drama to this small yet sweet cooking space. Glass doors on some of the upper cabinets also help to make the space look and feel a bit larger.

A black galley kitchen with grey marble countertops and grey walls

via Alvhem

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